IFPMA Statement @WHA 71 agenda item 11.16 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

Published on: 23 May 2018

Delivered by Grega Kumer


IFPMA members have taken significant steps to support the implementation of the GSPA-PHI. We support the global consensus the GSPA-PHI represents, and its carefully negotiated actions that brought the world together around practical solutions that recognize the essential role that IP rights play in the development of new therapies and their dissemination to patients.

The number of R&D programs for Neglected Tropical Diseases has increased significantly over the last years, from 32 in 2005 to 109 last year. Industry is also engaged on 62 R&D projects for Tuberculosis, and 53 projects for Malaria. IFPMA Members are increasingly working in collaboration with Product Development Partnerships: 90% of such projects are conducted through collaborative approaches. Industry invested USD$ 497 million in 2016 on R&D for diseases of the developing world. More than 14 billion treatments have been pledged for donation by industry over 10 years, valued at USD$17.8 billion.

Unfortunately, the expert panel that reviewed the GSPA-PHI did not recognize fully this progress and is also moving into areas not previously agreed by Member States. Over half of the panel recommendations are inconsistent with the original GSPA to some degree.  Therefore, in order to encourage innovation and create a spirit of partnership and consensus, IFPMA encourages WHO Member States to consider only recommendations that are consistent with the original GSPA mandate. IFPMA also underscores the need for the Secretariat’s implementation of any remaining recommendations to be done only after close and regular consultation with Member States.

A combination of several incentive models could unlock further R&D potential; including proposals relating to product development partnerships, “orphan drug” legislation and advance market commitments. None of these mechanisms is a standalone solution and they are more effective if applied in combination with others, including existing market-based incentives.

We look forward to continuing our constructive engagement in a multi-stakeholder effort to address these issues.